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How to replace wheel bearing/hub assembly on Mazda3 ??

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  • May 23rd, 2009 4:03 pm
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[OP]
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How to replace wheel bearing/hub assembly on Mazda3 ??

Has anyone here done a wheel bearing and hub replacement on a Mazda3 before? My mother-in-law's 3 needs the RF bearing replaced (the LF was replaced at the dealership a few months ago, and now the RF one is dying as well).
From my contact at a Mazda dealer, I know the replacement part is a hub and bearing assembly, so I shouldn't need a shop press (bearing is already pressed into the hub assembly). I will be changing all 4 rotors and all brake pads next week on the same car, so I might as well do the wheel bearing while that corner is disassembled. The one-time-use bolt will be purchased as well (stretch-type bolt).

How difficult is this? More specifically, will I need any special service tools? I have all the required sockets, an impact wrench if needed, torque wrenches, etc... but no ball joint popper ("pickle fork"), no shop press, etc. What is required besides normal tools?

Thanks
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[OP]
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To add to this a bit, here's the page from the shop service manual for this job: http://www.thaimazda3.com/svmanual/esic ... 60W02.html

I am concerned about the SST's used in the 2nd-last and 3rd-last pics. It appears to still use a hydraulic press (??) to push the hub assembly in and out of the knuckle. Can anyone confirm?
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I know you can buy a tool called a hub shark / hub tamer but it's price isn't worth it for a DIY, unless you're a mechanic that does wheel bearings frequently.

Have you checked Partsource / Napa / Canadian Tire to see if they might have the tool you can rent?
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kmltick wrote:
May 22nd, 2009 2:09 pm
I know you can buy a tool called a hub shark / hub tamer but it's price isn't worth it for a DIY, unless you're a mechanic that does wheel bearings frequently.

Have you checked Partsource / Napa / Canadian Tire to see if they might have the tool you can rent?
CT/PartsSource loans the FWD hub puller which "should" remove the hub/bearing assembly from the knuckle. However, the problem from then is how to install the new hub/bearing assembly into the knuckle without a press. I don't think the loaner tool has the ability to press a new one in.
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kmltick wrote:
May 22nd, 2009 3:27 pm
You need a tool similar to this one:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=45210

The hub shark / hub tamer contains the tool to remove and install the hub. The tool Partsource lends out is most likely a slide hammer with a hub adapter. (which can be bought at Princess auto).
I spoke with a guy at CT this afternoon who showed me a 'typical' FWD hub/bearing assembly, and it had 4 bolts that go in from the backside, through the knuckle, into the hub assembly to hold it on. He said I would NOT likely need a tool to remove/replace the hub assembly as the bearing is already pressed in, however, if it were seized, the following tool would work (which they loan out in a PowerBuilt brand): http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp ... ir=catalog

Once I see the actual Mazda part I will be able to tell if it's the same design as the one he showed me or not. If it's not, and it needs to be pulled out and then pressed in, I might look at getting the set like the one from Harbour Freight (or Princess Auto since I know the store ass't manager here). Thanks!
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Actually kmltick I just took another look at the factory service manual page and this picture (part #11) does NOT seem to indicate that the hub is held to the knuckle with bolts -- it DOES seem to be pressed in:

Image

In that case would the tool you linked to actually work, or would taking the entire knuckle to a shop be better to have the press out/in the old/new hub assembly?

Thanks.
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The harbor freight tool listed would be the tool you use to press the outer bearing race out of the knuckle and the hub back into the knuckle.

You would need another tool to remove the hub from the knuckle. (the slide hammer tool)

And if you were replacing only the bearing, you would need a bearing separator tool to remove the inner race

A hub shark / hub tamer is basically all of the above tools combined in one kit but obviously at a hefty price.

Please keep in mind that when you remove the hub, the bearing may separate leaving the outer race stuck in the knuckle and the inner race stuck on the hub. (hence the bearing separator tool).

You can get creative and try using a long bolt and a bunch of washers and use it to press the hub back on.
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It's press fit. I found some decent pictures here:
http://www.finishlineperformance.com/pd ... -1746b.pdf

What the CT guy is think about is GM's which are held in with bolts. What's not shown in the diagrams is the 1/2 shaft that's splined and fits into the wheel hub. A puller is used to separate the 1/2 shaft from the hub/ spindle.

In your case, once you have the 1/2 shaft free from the spindle/hub, it looks like a press is needed to separate the wheel hub from the spindle

Edit - I think Princess Auto might have the same press set. I think it's called a 4WD bearing service kit
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Thanks l69norm.

I checked the Princessauto website and could not find a set like the one from Harbor Freight. I might stop by the local store and check it out though, as maybe they don't have everything listed on the website. I need a rear disk caliper piston tool anyhow -- a good excuse to get there for some shopping. :)

If I can't find the right tool I might just take the knuckle off and bring it to a local mechanic to press in/out, depending what the father-in-law wants to do with his money.
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On the mazda3, I don't think you need a piston tool for the rear caliper. At least it wasn't like that on my friend's Protege5, it only used an allen key on the back of the caliper to retract the piston. But then again the tool is cheap.
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kmltick wrote:
May 23rd, 2009 3:35 pm
On the mazda3, I don't think you need a piston tool for the rear caliper. At least it wasn't like that on my friend's Protege5, it only used an allen key on the back of the caliper to retract the piston. But then again the tool is cheap.
My wife's Protege5 needs the allen key. The Mazda3 and my Acura TSX need the special tool, so I picked it up for $7.99. ;)
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